Training Theatre Artists to Make a Difference
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kimberly Giroux and I’m a Junior Drama major here at CUA and am currently studying abroad in London. I was majoring in English as well until recently. But, I was given the option to come here or graduate on time with two degrees. I chose to come here. I have dreamed of studying abroad in London since probably 6th or 7th grade when I heard about studying abroad. And let me tell you, I don’t regret it! I love London. It is simply an amazing city and I never want to leave.
I am currently at St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham, England. Twickenham? You are probably thinking, “Where’s that?” Well, I thought the same thing before coming here. It’s a suburb in southwestern London. It wasn’t what I thought studying in London would be. But, it’s given me the opportunity to see the best of both worlds. Twickenham is a quaint little town right next to the Thames. There are cobble stone streets, little inns, and pubs. It’s quintessentially English without all the thatched roofs and sheep. It’s definitely a change of pace for me. Last semester, I was lulled to sleep by metro trains, planes and speeding cars. This semester, it’s quiet with the exception of a plane or two. After all, Heathrow Airport is only twenty minutes away. Studying here allows me to have the peace and quiet of a little town and the vibrancy and liveliness of London.
Studying here the best of both words and allows me to be able to tell you tales from two cities. (Well, more than two cities actually but I couldn’t resist the pun) Being here has allowed me to travel a lot and see places I have only ever seen in my dreams…or on TV. I have of course seen all the typical London tourist-y things like Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and of course Buckingham Palace. I took a boat cruise down the Thames and I saw the Globe. I visited the underground Churchill War Rooms from WW II. But, studying here has also allowed me to explore other places in England as well. I got to go to Greenwich and be in two hemispheres at the same time. I visited Bath with it’s gorgeous honey colored limestone buildings. While I was there, I visited the Roman Baths and drink the water (which tastes like liquid penny by the way). I felt like I had stepped into a Jane Austen novel. I visited Stonehenge while snow drifted in the air. It created a fitting atmosphere for that mysterious monument. I travelled to Oxford, where I got to step in the shop that Lewis Carroll wrote about in Alice in Wonderland and got to see Christ’s Church where Harry Potter was filmed. I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon. There, I visited Ann Hathaway’s Cottage and the birthplace of William Shakespeare. There is also got to see the church where he was baptized and where he was buried. I visited the Cotswolds with it’s thatched roof cottages, farms, and rolling hills. It was what you imagine the English countryside to look like, untouched by modern technology and absolutely breathtaking. I also got to see the birthplace of Churchill and the home of Chaucer!
Being here has also allowed me to venture outside England. When my parents visited last week, we spent a day in Paris. I got to climb the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre, and dust the cobwebs off my French. I past the infamous Moulin Rouge, the Arc D’ Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Last month, I spent a weekend in Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. I got to see castles, churches, mountains, and the birthplace of Harry potter. (J.K. Rowling wrote the majority of Harry Potter in a cafe called the Elephant House in Edinburgh.) The Scottish Highlands are some of the oldest mountains on Earth and are simply breathtaking. This is also where Hagrid’s hut was in Harry Potter (noticing a theme because I am). It’s also where they filmed Braveheart. I visited Loch Ness. (No Nessie Unfortunately) I also got to learn what it would have been like to be a Highlander back in the day and how elaborate a traditional kilt is.Too be honest, pictures don’t really capture the sheer magnitude and beauty of them so I recommend you go and see them in person. But, dress warmly because the Highlands are parallel to Alaska and Russia!
That’s it for now, but tune in next time to read about my trip to Rome and Venice and other random tidbits about my adventures across the pond!